This past weekend’s Tyson-Jones exhibition-topped pay-per-view appears to have been a huge hit in terms of business, and there were some big winners coming out of the show.
Dismiss the exhibition bout if you want, dismiss Jake Paul if you want, but there is obviously a wide-reaching audience for these things, and the post-event tone seemed to be one mostly of satisfaction from the curious consumer. As a result, Triller and FITE TV were both big winners for the event, as Triller’s company name got mentioned every few seconds, and FITE TV — which has been in the fight and pro wrestling digital PPV game for years — say they grew from 2.8 million registered accounts to over 4 million for the weekend alone.
Another winner was Snoop Dogg, whose loose, enthusiastic, off the cuff commentary for the Tyson-Jones and Paul-Nate Robinson fights was a big hit with viewers. The legendary rapper will not loan his name to a new boxing series that involves Proxima and Triller, creatively called “The Fight Club.”
“Up until this weekend, boxing was about the experience of one small group of elite individuals who attended the fight in person,” said Ryan Kavanaugh, Principal of Proxima and co-founder of “The Fight Club.”
“What we wanted to create with the Tyson vs Jones event was an experience for all of the viewers at home, combining the highest-end production and lighting and a production quality never before brought to a fight. Today marks a paradigm shift as ‘The Fight Club’ dedicates itself to delivering top-notch immersive experiences in the comfort of your home.”
“Saturday was our pilot and it worked. Now when anyone hears it’s a Triller ‘The Fight Club’ event, they now know it means the production will be unparalleled. It will look and feel like nothing they’ve ever seen,” said Bobby Sarnevesht, Executive Chair of Triller and co-owner of Proxima.
“Triller’s official motto ‘Where you do you’ is carried into these events where celebrities unleash their inner boxers, where everyone is free to express themselves. Whether it’s the announcers giving their honest narrative and doing so talking like drunken sailors or artists expressing their music while smoking on a joint, we encourage pushing the rules of the game and pushing them to the limits.”
“I have been involved in many events across many platforms. Saturday night, which marked the launch of Proxima’s ‘The Fight Club’ league, was in the top 5 of my entire career,” Snoop Dogg said. “We are changing the entire game; boxing will never be the same and the audiences expect a new standard now. ‘The Fight Club’ is that standard. Ryan and I have worked together for over a decade on many things, but this takes the cake. It was like watching a Tarantino film, the Super Bowl, Rocky, and Woodstock all in one,” Snoop continued.
Obviously, we’ll have to see what happens. They’re not going to have any top active names under contract to start this, and there’s probably only so long you can trade on old man exhibitions and YouTuber fights. They intend to do “five to eight” events per year.
But I’d be lying if I said I’m not intrigued by where this all could go. It’s never a bad thing to have some fresh ideas coming into what is too often a stagnant pond of a sport, and even if what they offer early on doesn’t totally float your boat, and even if it ultimately doesn’t fully work out like they hope, they could still have a very positive influence. The original XFL from back in 2001, for instance, was largely laughed off as a huge failure, but there was a lot in production and whatnot that other TV sports, including the NFL, took from the XFL.
If the expectations aren’t insane early on, this could result in something that helps the sport in various ways. “If” and “could” are big words here. We’ll see, but I’m interested.